Early Spring, also known as Mud Season. As the sun rises, the sweet scent of maple sap boiling over a fire draws a hungry bear from its den. A rabbit quietly escapes among the bare birches, evergreens, and copper beeches.
And so starts my life, sometimes sweet, sometimes muddy. I was born in Peterborough NH in 1948 and grew up in Antrim NH. The Celtic knot buttons signify the mixing of McClure and McLean bloodlines.
My father, Chick McLean, left my mother, Isabel McClure Butterfield McLean, with three very young children--Nancy, Charles, and Jane. She moved us back to the family homestead where four generations lived under one roof.
I could carry a tune before I could walk or talk, raucously singing “Baa-baa” for “Baa-baa Black Sheep” to the astonishment of my mother and grandmother. I also learned to harmonize at a very early age and still sing with a group to this day.
Our mother married Martin Nichols who raised us as his own. We moved down to the village of Antrim. Later we welcomed a little brother, William. We walked everywhere and played outside almost every day.
I went to elementary and high school in new buildings built for Baby Boomers. Junior high was in an old wooden schoolhouse. I loved school, was an outstanding student, and assumed I would follow the family tradition of teaching.
In high school I began to spread my wings, traveling around the state through school, church, and Girl Scout programs. I had a boyfriend and aspired to be a folk singer. College beckoned, and off I went to Bucknell University during the turbulent years of Vietnam and the Summer of Love.
This panel is one of four depicting the seasons at an imaginary cabin in the woods. The story is told in the central scene which I constructed and then tacked onto the background. Two rows of Folded Stars give way to woodlands in Pine Burr.
Copyright Jane McLean, 2023